We started talking when she requested to use my bucket to wash. Her friendly nature got me relating with her even before I got to know we were from the same state. “My name is Hope, nice to meet you.” She politely introduced herself. “Mfon is the name; my sheer pleasure!” I replied smiling, feeling good meeting a girl so polite. We passively introduced ourselves after talking at length and realizing that we barely knew each other.
She was a beautiful girl with a round face, chubby physique, brief height and nice curves, whom I met during my days in the NYSC orientation camp, Umunna Bende, in Abia State; and who shared the same corner with me. Full of life and gay, she made a lot of friends (both male and female) and always preferred hanging out with them at Mami (camp market) during our free period after parade. Days later, she started complaining of the tastelessness of camp food (which was apparently true), so she stopped eating camp meals and concentrated on buying food from Mami. This earned her the name Miss Mami. She laughed heartily at the name but was not perturbed about it.
The CEOs of Amebo Company Unlimited that shared the corner with us began spreading news that Hope was messing around so guys would buy her food, but quite unfortunately, Hope had a crocodile skin for such news. It didn’t affect her in any way. Few days to our passing out of camp, Hope went missing. We all woke up as usual at 4, prepared and left together to the parade ground, got separated to our different platoons for morning meditation. That was the last we saw of her. We came back, took breakfast and went for lectures, still without Hope, so we concluded that she escaped the lectures (as usual) to hook up at her favorite spot. After light out, Hope was still missing. “Nna enh, dis geh tight o…” Someone commented. “She dey flex her tin dey go me I dey here dey suffer mysef dey do parade” “Abeg free d geh, she get sense.” Another added and the castigation continued.
Her absence was unavoidably conspicuous. “Peace, did Hope tell you her whereabout? It’s been two days now” I anxiously asked my next bunk neighbour. “I bin see her with one soldier like that for Mami, maybe she don go chill for the guy side. She go come back if she finish.” She replied with an I-don’t-care gesture. “I know say she no dey dull but she has never spent a night outside the hostel.” I added. “Babe, she is spending ‘a night with her boyfriend’, time no dey, we go soon pass out.” She said confidently. “What if she’s in trouble? If na she carry herself go, no wahala. But we never can tell you know, anything might go wrong..” I softly added with my mixed pidgin. “Babe chill, notin do de geh”. She concluded.
The next morning, Hope was brought in by two nurses, with bandage on her head and a drip stitch in her right arm. She had a serious asthma attack at the parade ground due too inhaling excess dust, which led to her spending two nights in the clinic. She was in trouble but we were there narrow-mindedly drawing conclusions…
This is the sad reality that stares us daily in the face. Our seeming familiarity with certain circumstances always push us to conclude on having a particular outcome, until we get unexpectedly surprised by an entirely different result the situation produces;
– That I am eating does not mean I am hungry.
– That she is laughing does not mean she’s happy.
– That he is quiet does not mean he’s reserved.
– That a guy is close to a girl does not mean they’re dating.
– That they go to church does not mean they are angels.
– That they are sincere does not mean they are trust worthy.
– That he is a pastor/imam does not mean he is infallible.
– That they flock around you does not mean they love you.
– That Braun Strowman is huge does not mean Rey Mysterio cannot beat him.
– That Rhonda Rousey looks small does not mean she can’t defeat Nia Jax.
– That they don’t call does not mean they don’t care…
(The list is endless).
They can have a beautiful smile with a black mind, or a sad face with a happy heart. Who knows! Be careful, because what you see might not always be the truth. No matter how certain you might be, open your mind to endless possibilities, do not totally rule out the possible occurrence of the unexpected, lest you be disappointed, heartbroken or unnecessarily surprised. Assumption is an unnecessary evil, the two sides of a story are important. You are a sentient being, make use of your sense!
(French proverb). Don’t judge a book by its cover.